Nearly 10 years later, the story of Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us Part I remains one of the most special video game experiences ever. Whether you’re playing it on the PS3, PS4, or now the PS5, there’s something remarkable about their journey that transcends gameplay, visuals, and mechanics. So even though the remake or re-release does a major visual overhaul of the classic PlayStation title, it’s once again the game’s narrative and its characters that are the biggest winners here.
If you’re a PlayStation owner, there’s a good chance you’ve already played The Last of Us Part I, and possibly even the game’s sequel, The Last of Us Part 2. The real question is whether the game is worth revisiting now that Naughty Dog has tweaked the visuals and updated some of the technical bits. Of course, when it comes to remasters and remakes, there’s a question about whether or not the new release adds value to the original game. In the case of The Last of Us Part I, the second remaster of this already iconic game, it’s a yes and a no. And it’s definitely something that’s going to be debated come release day.
On the one hand, the developers deserve a prize for upgrading the visuals of The Last of Us Part I (and Left Behind DLC which comes bundled with it) to the point that it actually looks and feels like a PlayStation 5 game. It’s stunning. Everything looks shiny new and detailed. In fact, I was shocked to see images and video footage of the original game. There’s just so much more realism added with the new release. I often found myself admiring the skyline or appreciating the detailed textures in the surroundings.
Then there’s also the amazing haptic feedback the PlayStation DualSense controller adds to the gameplay. You can now feel the impact of every bullet and the power of every punch. This, along with the graphics, really helps modernize the game and makes players feel part of the world. It’s completely immersive and proves once again that the PS5 controller is the console’s biggest asset.
On the other hand, those expecting an overhaul of the gameplay might be disappointed. It’s the same game with only slight tweaks. We’re not getting The Last of Us Part II‘s mechanics in The Last of Us Part I — which, I agree, would have been superb. Instead, it’s pretty much what we’ve played before – with some great enhancements.
Perhaps the reason why the game hasn’t been altered is that Naughty Dog is trying to preserve the original experience and not totally recreate it. And that’s something I can completely respect. This is arguably one of the best games ever made. Why would anyone want to go fiddle and tinker with an already amazing experience?
With all that said, there are some enhancements — like the accessibility options (which include audio descriptions for cinematics, a feature that plays dialogue through the PS5 DualSense controller as haptic feedback, and magnification and visual aids), and unlockable options, like new outfits and filters for the game.
It goes without saying that if you never played the game before, this is the best version to get. If you have, and you want to re-experience the wonder of the game again (maybe before the TV series begins), this is also the best version to play. But if you’re looking for something new, then this might not be a title I would rush to grab.
It’s a bit like watching and owning your favourite film. You owned it on VHS. Then you bought the DVD. Then the Blu-ray. And now the 4K Blu-ray remastered version. If you’re a fan of the film, you can spot all the differences and you can appreciate it all. That’s the same with The Last of Us Part I on the PlayStation 5.
This is a game that revolutionised the industry. It’s a story that you can experience over and over again and not get bored. It’s on par with some of the best films and TV shows of all time. Without question, it deserves to be played and experienced again and again. This probably won’t be the last time The Last of Us Part I gets a shiny new coat of paint. I expect it will be redone again in a few years.
But for now, this is the best version of the game. If you loved the original game, there’s nothing you won’t love about the new remake.
The Last of Us Part I
- Breathtaking visuals
- The same game we all fell in love with
- The same game we all fell in love with
Sound and Music